Opportunity Fund Offers Nearly $1 Million in Arts and Culture Grants

Published on February 29, 2024

City of Charlotte Arts and Culture logo

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 29, 2024) — The City of Charlotte’s Arts and Culture Advisory Board is accepting new grant requests from Charlotte-Mecklenburg artists and arts and culture groups to receive Opportunity Fund support for near-term projects and initiatives that align with the recently approved Charlotte Arts and Culture Plan. The grants will fund projects, programs and initiatives that advance strategies in the plan.

Applicants can request up to $40,000 by submitting a letter of intent (LOI) and must meet eligibility requirements. The deadline to submit a request is March 28. After review of their LOI, applicants who meet the eligibility requirements will be contacted to submit a full proposal.

The grants are available through the Opportunity Fund, a flexible and innovative mechanism of the Infusion Fund, a public-private partnership of the city, Foundation For The Carolinas and private donors to stabilize the Charlotte-Mecklenburg arts and culture sector through June 2024 while planning for a more sustainable cultural future. The Charlotte Arts and Culture Plan, completed in fall 2023 and approved by Charlotte City Council, is a comprehensive plan to sustain and grow arts and culture in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County over the next ten years.

Nearly $1 million is available in this new grant cycle. Grants will be awarded in late June and distributed in July. When awarded by the Arts and Culture Advisory Board, they will bring the total of the Opportunity Fund’s direct, timely investments to more than $2.5 million since it was launched in 2022. 

“Now that we have a completed community vision and long-term plan for arts and culture in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, we’re thrilled to be able to seed fund implementation of the plan by supporting projects generated by our community for our community,” said Priya Sircar, the city’s arts and culture officer. “Since we debuted this unique mechanism, the Opportunity Fund has been filling gaps for creatives and groups who have fresh ideas, but who may not qualify for other grants, align with longer grant cycles, or have access to financial support through existing relationships. This cycle takes that support to the next level by jumpstarting progress on the community’s plan to the tune of nearly $1 million.” 

Another new feature of this funding cycle is the provision of support by grant writing coaches to help applicants develop the strongest proposals they can.

“We’ve found that often the folks who need the most assistance with that are the ones who can afford it the least,” said Sircar. “We’re delighted to provide this support to applicants at no cost to them. It’s part of our commitment to eliminating barriers and working toward equitable support, both of which are top priorities in the plan.”

A virtual information session will be held Wednesday, March 6, from noon to 1 p.m. Anyone who might be interested in applying is encouraged to attend or to watch the recording that will be posted online afterward. Learn more about the grant request, evaluation process, and what applicants should know to create a strong request and proposal, and register. The LOI submission form will go live following the March 6 information session.

Past Opportunity Fund supported projects include “I am Queen Charlotte” by Hannah Hasan and Scott Gardner; LOCAL/STREET by Carla Aaron-Lopez; the Confluence Music Project by Charlotte Center City Partners and Music Everywhere CLT; and Charlotte Reciprocity Circles by Charlotte Is Creative. Learn more about past Opportunity Fund projects.